Contributed by Terry Hemphill, Illustrator Marketing Manger
Until I became assimilated into the language of Illustrator at Adobe, the term “appearance” didn’t mean much to me, despite the fact that I’d used Illustrator for years. The Appearance panel? Nice for basic object info, I guess. Terms like “expand to basic appearance?” Huh? Wouldn’t one “reduce” or “diminish” to basic?
Was I ever missing the boat! It took watching in-house Adobe pros and in-the-know customers who really grasped the power of Appearances and the Appearance panel to wake me up. Now I can’t understand how I ever used Illustrator without the Appearance panel, and in Illustrator CS4, it’s truly one of my favorite features.
I’m going to let the pros on the team give you the real skinny info on Appearances and the Appearance panel in posts to follow, but let me share with you my “a ha!” moment and (hopefully) inspire you to check it out.
The “a ha:” it happened watching Matthew Richmond of the Chopping Block at FITC several years ago, where he was presenting from his bag of Illustrator tricks (he has many) to a packed room. It was his Appearance panel tips that rocked the house. He’s much more lively in person, but he does a great intro to Appearances and Live Effects here, for Illustrator CS3.
The Block has a beautiful new blog with lots of cool posts. Here’s yet another Matthew tip that uses the Appearance panel to let you “design/draw your asterisk off.”
Oh yeah, all this has been in Illustrator for some time. Wait till you see what’s new for the Appearance panel in CS4…